Eyelid Stye / Chalazion
A chalazion or stye is a small lump on the eyelid due to a plugged oil gland. This can occur on any eyelid. The eyelids contain many oil producing glands called meibomian glands. In some people, these glands become plugged, much like a pimple might develop on the skin. This is not related to any disease and is not harmful to the eye or vision.
Treatment is usually either medical or surgical. Particularly for small ones, medical treatment may be advisable. Oral antibiotics are rarely helpful in most cases since this is an inflammation of the gland, not an infection. However, antibiotic/cortisone drops or ointment can be helpful to keep the bacteria count of the eyelid down and decrease the swelling of the eyelid. The BEST treatment for this is HOT compresses to the eyelid. Wrap a hot washcloth in Saran Wrap to keep the heat in the washcloth and place it over your eyelid as often as you possibly can. The lesion often will “come to a head” and drain out. If this doesn’t happen, you should consider surgical drainage by a simple office procedure. Sometimes, the chalazion is so large that medical treatment is not advised and immediate drainage is required. You should be evaluated by your eye care specialist before starting any treatment. Also, recurrent chalazia/styes can be a sign of a very rare eyelid tumor and should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist.